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Tuesday 23 April 2013

Pocket Informant Pro - App Review

Do you remember carrying around your ever more bulging Filofax? If you ever mislaid your trusted Filofax, the panic instantly set in (don't pretend otherwise)... not only did you no longer have a clue where you should be, or what you should be doing but, all your notes and ancillary information were also missing, and what was worse (unless you're a doctor), anyone finding it could read everything you had written.
Well, this is a modern equivalent, and goes further than other PIM (Personal Information Managers). You can sleep at night knowing that not only is your information backed up (try doing that with a Filofax) but it is protected with one or more passwords.

Now for the ACIDS test:

There are three ways to look at this App:
First way:
If you learn by using and if you've never used a PIM, or even a Calendar (not even the iOS native one?), or a reminder/task system then, you're about to enter Ali Baba's cave. The best way to start is to download the App and enter some information, be it an appointment, to-do, note (even a voice note). Now start playing "I wonder if I could..." and experiment to your heart's content.
Second way:
You've never used a PIM before and like to learn by having things neatly explained (aren't you the sensible one). In this instance, download the App, go to 'Settings' and towards the bottom of the listing you will see 'Download iBook Manual'. Pick this optional and you will now have 100 pages of reading. Enjoy, digest and then come back to the App.
Third way:
Your electronic gadgets (whether iPhone, iPad, PC...) contain everything that allows you to operate on a day to day basis (exactly like your Filofax did) then, you are in for a treat (although you will need to invest a little time first). If you use MS Outlook, I would suggest downloading WebIS Desktop Sync and following the straightforward instructions to port across your data from your PC to your iOS device. Although this is provided 'as is', it works perfectly well. There is also an additional product, Pocket Informant Online that synchronises all your data in the cloud.
Whichever way you have started using the App, you will have a full- featured diary, reminder system and note taker. Everything is so customisable that it is only with use (unless you really are going to trawl through the 100pp of the manual) that you appreciate the App .Think of Pocket Informant as Outlook with pictorial categories; if that whets your appetite, dive in.

There are a number of different variations of Pocket Informant; the version tested here is the 'Pro' version, which is a modest cost App (less than one year's diary sheets for a Filofax).

If you start using Pocket Informant, it will rapidly become part of your dock (the Apps at the bottom of your home screen).

Everything works as expected... if one really wants to nit-pick then the synchronising with Outlook can take a little while but, so what.

If you do not use Pocket Informant Online then, all your data is on your devices, and nowhere else. As usual, you should protect your valuable data using passwords and the App allows you to assign a four character lock code.

ACIDS Test Rating:
Stay organised, everywhere.

To find out how the ACIDS Test works, click here.
You can get Pocket Informant Pro here and support for the App here.


  1. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.00 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    3.0 is here! Please make sure to BACKUP before upgrading. Please also note that this update requires iOS 5 and runs best on iOS 6 and up.

    • NEW ”CLEAR” INTERFACE - a brand new redesigned interface that is beautiful, flat, and easy to use:
    -Customizable Event/Task Row settings (pick just the stuff you want to see)
    -Slide-out side panel to give you context-specific options
    -Time zone picker is more intuitive / easier to use

    • EVERNOTE SYNC - sync your notebooks, tags, notes, and attachments (stacks, todos and tables not supported yet)
    • RICH TEXT EDITOR for Notes - edit your event/task comments with plain or rich text; Notes are full rich text with lists, styles, and fonts.
    • WEATHER (available as an in-app purchase) to show weather in Today, List, Week, and Month views
    • NATURAL LANGUAGE EVENT AND TASK CREATION - Enter phrases like “Coffee with Mom every Tuesday at 6am”. Pocket Informant will understand and set your event accordingly. Currently, only available for English.
    • PROJECTS can now have a due date, a default template, be set to automatically complete, use parallel/sequential/single-task “next action” modes, and more!
    • CHECKLISTS - you can create checklists for your tasks that involve lists of stuff (like grocery shopping, packing, etc)
    • TODAY VIEW - now lets you toggle between Today & Tomorrow and is fully customizable: rearrange sections, turn any section on/off, Due & Overdue tasks have been split into separate sections, and custom smart filters can now be placed on the Today view!
    • PI ONLINE EMAIL TO TASK CONVERSION - Subscribers can now email Pocket Informant Online to automatically create tasks that sync down to Pocket Informant!
    • SEARCH TAB - now searches notes
    • TASKS - can now be set to repeat from the start date
    • TASKS TAB - You can now reorder and hide pre-defined filters & custom smart filters on the Task tab
    • NOTES - Non-modal note editing on iPad (change tabs while editing a note, then come back to the notes tab and immediately resume note editing)
    • TEMPLATES - can now be named separate from the event/task title and can now span across midnight
    • EVENT ICS SUPPORT - Significantly improved emailing events and importing ICS files

  2. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.00.63 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    Quick fix to address an issue with the weather in-app purchase. If you purchased the weather module, you must update to this release for the functionality to be restored.

  3. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.01 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    3.01 improves upon our fantastic 3.0 release with a large number of improvements based on feedback from you!

    Here are some of the highlights:
    • Added support for Evernote Todos and stacks and you can now remove the Evernote default notebook from sync (by setting another notebook as default within PI first)
    • Use two finger pinch to expand all/collapse all notebook stacks

    • Improved Emailing of Notes including support for iOS 5
    • Improved Rich Text Editor
    • Added a C/F override for Weather as well as a few other Weather improvements
    • Added shortcut - tap/hold on the Navigation Button (3 bar button) to bring up the Calendar Filter
    • Removed the Weather Underground integrated web page and added our own Weather Detail Page
    • Added options for PIO Sync to sync rich text notes as plain text for Outlook/Android users
    • Improved Natural Language Text behavior
    • Added ability to delete checklist items in the editor by deleting the text
    • Added Last Modified sort for Notes View
    • Notes now show the last modified date instead of created date
    • Improved our ICS export and import for multiple events and tasks
    • Improvements in the Time Zone Picker
    • Now allow for Google All Day alarms that are relative
    • Added support for x-callback-url: informant://x-callback-url/createEvent?NLP=SomeTitle…
    • Performance Improvements, behavior improvements and bug fixes from support and forum

  4. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.10 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    We have been having a great time getting Pocket Informant ready for iOS 7. But, in the meantime, we have also been working on a bunch of other really exciting stuff as well - we hope you enjoy it!

    • NEW: Full support for Evernote Reminders! Put your Evernote Reminders where they belong - on your calendar!
    • NEW: You can now "pin" any note to a specific date so they appear on your calendar
    • NEW: Support for Evernote "linked notebooks"
    • NEW: Weather Alerts (requires the weather in-app purchase)
    • NEW: Free trial of our weather in-app purchase. Find out why thousands of others are already enjoying this new feature!
    • There are a TON of improvements to our Rich Text Editor: it is now much more responsive, we have new formatting options, resolved issues with lists, added support for Evernote tables and much more!
    • Resolved issue on iPad when using the iOS Editor for events
    • Resolved issue when opening an "old" database format from an email
    • Several interface, stability and performance improvements throughout the app

  5. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.20 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    NEW - Fully updated for iOS 7! Built to take advantage of the new look & feel of iOS 7. Additionally, PI also supports iOS 7's new background fetching to keep your data more up-to-date.

    NEW - The Today View now shows an estimated travel time to the next appointment with a searchable location (iOS 7 only). With 1 tap, you can be taken to the map with driving directions.

    NEW - Intelligent Location Autocomplete: As you type in the location of a task or event, PI now offers suggestions based on map searches, addresses in your contacts and locations you've bookmarked in PI.

    NEW - Saved Filters: If you frequently toggle between different "sets" of calendars (like a work set and a personal set), then this is for you. You can now save different calendar filters, then simply tap-and-hold the "hamburger button" to quickly switch between your saved filters

    NEW - When you're using a physical keyboard, our rich text editor now supports standard keyboard shortcuts for bold (cmd-b), italics (cmd-i), underline (cmd-u), numbered list (cmd-1), unordered list (cmd-2), pick font (cmd-t), center (cmd--), indent (cmd-right), outdent (cmd-left)

    NEW - New inline icon picker in task and event editors

    General Changes
    -PI now requires iOS 6.1 or better
    -Several performance improvements throughout the app
    -Tab Bar Mode Switching is now in settings instead of swiping from the edge of the tab bar (this is to play nicely with iOS 7's new control center)
    -Backup Manager now automatically removes older backups (it only preserves the last 7 backups)

    -Improvements to PI Online sync
    -Fixed an issue where the start date of a task might hop back a day when in certain time zones using iOS Reminders that sync to Exchange

    Task Improvements
    -Checklist items now use the color of their main parent checklist task
    -Fixed issue where a task created from a template in a project wouldn't take the right title
    -Starred tasks now show star even if you aren't showing the entire icon view
    -Fixed issue where in alarms might still go off for completed tasks in specific circumstances
    -Fixed issue where subtasks wouldn't always appear under their parent task
    -Fixed issue where checklist items & subtasks would eventually start duplicating if they were attached to a recurring parent task

    Event Improvements
    -Fixed issue where relative alarms on all day events might fire at the wrong time if you are in a different time zone than when you originally created the alarm
    -When doing an entire calendar export, event exceptions are now properly included in the ics file

    Note Improvements
    -Improvements to the Notes editor, voice notes and notes syncing

  6. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.21 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    We have been loving iOS 7. I hope you are too! With version 3.21 we've made some improvements that should help with your enjoyment of iOS 7. In most cases your sync should resume without issue. If you continue to have a problem please try our support web page.

    If you experienced sync issues after upgrading from iOS 6 to 7, 3.21 resolves the original reason for this to occur (which was a change in iOS 7 that we did not see during beta testing).

    Notable changes:
    - Redesigned colored themes for iOS 7 including new themes for the new iPhone Color series
    - A brand new "first user" experience
    - Locations in Events/Tasks now support clickable phone numbers and URLs
    - Added option to show Week/Month times on the right
    - Using the Calendar Filter we now show the word "Filtering" so its clear you are in a calendar filter

    - Several minor visual improvements (event ETA is cleaner, improved multi-line text handling on iOS 7, calendar filters, etc)
    - Improved logic of a task with a start date, no due date, and recurring based on completion date
    - Improvements to our natural language entry
    - Improved iOS 7 background fetch handling when there is no network
    - Improved startup password screen logic
    - Improved experience of doing an “erase local sync” on a large database

    - Resolved minor UI & functional issues specific to iOS 7
    - Resolved an issue with sync accounts would fail to sync after upgrading from iOS 6
    - Resolved Evernote sync issues
    - Resolved upgrade issues with pictures in notes
    - Resolved a problem picking bookmarks in the Live Location search
    - Resolved an issue where setting alarms on Reminders might cause alarms to be set for X minutes after the due date rather than before

  7. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.22 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    - New Today View Setting to turn ETA on or off
    - Improved color coordination on the iOS 7 themes
    - Fix for crash when denying Contacts in the startup Tutorial
    - Improvement to iOS migration to Pocket Informant Online
    - Fixed iCloud Reminder Sync due to server changes
    - Improved the Calendar Editor
    - Improved task strikethrough drawing on Calendar view
    - General bug fixes throughout

  8. The developer advises that there has been an update to version 3.31 of the App.

    This includes the following enhancements and alterations:

    - Improvements to the new Google Calendar sync engine
    - Improved a potential issue on slower devices causing a freeze when saving an event or task
    Better error handling for Weather
    Improvements to recurring alarms


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